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HomeAnswersDermatologyhair lossI have been experiencing hair loss since starting a new diet, and I notice excessive shedding when I rub my head. Can you please help?

What steps can be taken to effectively manage severe hair loss while dieting?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

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Published At December 27, 2023
Reviewed AtDecember 27, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I have been on a diet for the past five months. During the first three months of dieting, I cut my leg and it bled profusely. The doctor gave me antibiotics for it. Now, I am experiencing hair loss, and when I pull my hair, it does not come back, but when I rub my head, it sheds a lot. What should I do now?


We welcome you to icliniq family.

I appreciate the confidence you place in me for your healthcare consultation.

I understand your concern.

Sudden weight loss, along with other factors such as a cut that led to bleeding and subsequent antibiotic use, may contribute to hair shedding or hair loss. Here are a few potential reasons for hair shedding or hair loss in your case:

  1. Telogen effluvium: Sudden weight loss, physical trauma, or illness can trigger a condition called telogen effluvium, which causes excessive hair shedding. It occurs when a significant number of hair follicles enter the resting (telogen) phase simultaneously. This condition is usually temporary, and hair growth resumes once the underlying trigger is addressed.
  2. Nutritional deficiencies: Rapid weight loss diets can sometimes lead to nutritional deficiencies, which may contribute to hair loss. Inadequate intake of essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins (such as biotin and iron), and minerals can affect hair growth and result in hair shedding.
  3. Stress: Physical and emotional stressors, including the trauma of a cut or wound, can lead to increased shedding of hair. Stress-induced hair loss, known as telogen effluvium, can occur a few months after the triggering event.

It is important to have a proper evaluation to determine the cause of your hair loss and develop an appropriate treatment plan. In the meantime, here are some general tips that may help:

  1. Maintain a balanced diet: Ensure you're consuming a well-balanced diet that includes an adequate amount of proteins, vitamins, and minerals essential for hair health.
  2. Manage stress: Implement stress management techniques, such as relaxation exercises, meditation, or engaging in activities you enjoy, to help reduce stress levels.
  3. Avoid harsh hair treatments: Minimize the use of harsh chemicals, heat styling tools, and tight hairstyles that can further damage or weaken your hair.
  4. Be gentle with your hair: Avoid excessive pulling or tugging on your hair, and use a wide-toothed comb or a brush with soft bristles to avoid further hair breakage.

While I cannot provide specific product recommendations, I can offer some general information about hair care products and supplements commonly associated with promoting hair health. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional or a dermatologist for personalized recommendations based on your specific situation. They can evaluate your condition, medical history, and provide appropriate guidance. Here are some options that are often considered for hair care products and nutrient supplements:

  1. Mild shampoos: Look for shampoos that are gentle and free from harsh chemicals, sulfates, and parabens. These can help maintain a healthy scalp and hair.
  2. Conditioners: Consider using conditioners that provide moisture and nourishment to the hair, helping to prevent dryness and breakage.
  3. Avoid heat and chemical treatments: Limit the use of heat styling tools, such as curling irons and straighteners, as well as chemical treatments that can damage the hair.
  4. Scalp treatments: Some topical treatments or serums may claim to promote hair growth or reduce hair loss. However, their effectiveness can vary, and it is best to consult with a healthcare professional for recommendations.
  5. Biotin: Biotin is a B-vitamin often associated with hair and nail health. It is commonly found in various hair supplements and some multivitamin formulas.
  6. Vitamins and minerals: Adequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids may contribute to optimal hair health. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplements, as excessive intake of certain nutrients can have adverse effects.

Remember, hair loss can have various underlying causes, and it is important to address those specific causes rather than relying solely on hair care products or supplements. Additionally, maintaining a healthy overall lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and good sleep habits, can contribute to overall hair health and should yield positive outcomes

I hope this has helped you. Please feel free to reach me again, in case of further queries.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Vandana Andrews
Dr. Vandana Andrews

General Practitioner

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